Bison Industry Weighs in on Farm Bill
March 21, 2023
The National Bison Association (NBA) is encouraging members of the U.S. Senate and House Agriculture Committees to include farm bill policies that will foster continued growth in the bison business. See the NBA's Farm Bill priorities here.
As the Agriculture Committees progress on the development of the 2023 Farm Bill, the National Bison Association this week provided each member of the committee with a summary of top priority issues for the bison business under the new long-term legislation.
The bison industry priorities include provisions regarding disaster assistance, trade, rural development, beginning farmer assistance, and truth-in-labeling. The organization also requested that agricultural research priorities recognize the importance of protecting the health of the nation’s bison herds.
In a message accompanying the Bison Association’s priorities, Executive Director Jim Matheson wrote, “Overall we simply want to ensure that bison is specifically included under the definition of livestock in terms of eligibility for all USDA loan, disaster, insurance, and other programs. Bison producers are generally included in farm bill programming, but being such a small sector of American agriculture, it always helps to explicitly list bison producers as being eligible.”
Matheson also urged congressional leaders to include provisions that would encourage the elimination of trade barriers that place bison at a disadvantage to beef in the international marketplace. In the area of meat processing, the bison industry urged that loan and grant programs be expanded to encourage workforce development, infrastructure expansion, and reciprocity in state and federal inspection services, particularly in small facilities.